Why I moved from Hostgator to DigitalOcean?

HostGator offers pretty good web hosting services as I mentioned in my earlier post. But I have moved from HostGator to Digital Ocean. Here are some reason why I decided to move my blogs! (Actually, this migration was made a few months ago and after successful few months hosting I am writing this post.)

High Response Time:

WordPress is a little bit server intense software. It needs a lot of server resources when we install a number of plugins and have poorly written plugin or modifications. This is, however, funny that many web hosts suggest not to use an SEO plugin due to high consumption of RAM and CPU. But we all know, in the present world these plugins are essential need for a WordPress site.  So whatever you do with your Shared Hosting (obviously with reasonable pricing) you will not be able to bring the response time down to 200ms (For WordPress based dynamic sites this is hard to achieve this target and also keep it economical). But at least we can try to do our best.

Almost all of the shared hosting servers are based on Apache or LAMP stack. Also they are not optimized for WordPress only. So if our sites are based on WordPress then these types of hosting will not be best. They are good to start but sooner or later we will have to look for other options.

My sites’ response time was more than 500ms and many times it goes beyond 700ms. This forced me to look some other options.

Adult site hosting sucks:

Hostgator is Texas based company and porno is allowed in as per state laws. Legally they are not doing anything illegal. (It’s like smoking cigarette not illegal but it also doesn’t means we should smoke just because of that.) So, It should be avoided.

Hostgator-tos

Now, the question is, Will you take a risk of low ranking in search engine ranking just because you are site is sharing server and IP with porn sites? For me this is not good. When I took a look on reverse DNS I was surprised to see many porn sites hosted on same ip. After seeing this I asked HostGator to give me a dedicated IP. but they simply didn’t and suggested to go for SEOHosting.com (a HostGator sister company). This was rude isn’t it?

Here is the fun happening, when I asked BlueHost about adult site hosting the recommended me to sign up HostGator. I laughed and ask why they promote HostGator? They said, sorry, but you were looking for adult hosting we simply do not allow this but as per their terms they allow.

This was another reason to move live sites from HostGator to something else.

What were the choices?

Another Shared Hosting:

Actually I have no alternative of HostGator shared hosting in terms of pricing and server resources they allow. The biggest competitor was BlueHost and then Dreamhost. I have used their services. Out of the two Dreamhost given me better response time. it was around 300-400ms. But frequently my site was throttled just because of high use of resources. (Dreamhost is good and I was happy in early days of WordPress blogging). I have not tried their WordPress Hosting but heard that it is good.

And Bluehost is similar to HostGator in many ways. So what were the options for me?

A Managed VPS:

I am not a big fan of costly VPS although I know WebSynthesis and WPEngine are good (Actually awesome) in WordPress Hosting.

Due to high price WPEngine had never been in my list. That is obvious because their affiliate payout is very high they don’t have any other *options* to charge more from customers. (You may earn more than $150 from every sale, even if you make one sale in a month or year.)

Here, I have never thought about fully-managed cPanel like hosting as HostGator and many others have. The reason is they all are LAMP on CentOS. There will be no difference If I have to spend $$$ every month on such servers. The above two, especially WebSynthesis, are better than a managed cPanel hosting according to my needs but rather than that I opted an unmanaged VPS:

An unmanaged VPS:

In these type of hosting Linode and Digital Ocean are the two I had shortlisted. Many of fellow bloggers are hosted on Linode and no doubt I am also one of their customer (I occasionally hosted temp sites and used their server for testing and learning.)

But the winner was Digital Ocean. They provide good servers at unbelievably cheap rates. It is interesting that many shared hosts charges $3-4 for an IPv4 and Digital Ocean will give you 512MB instance at just $5. Well, there is also a risk about maintaining unmanaged VPS but thanks to Digital Ocean and Linode Library to make this possible.

So far, I am happy with their services and happy with my servers. I will review Digital Ocean later but here it was good to see that I managed to bring the response time to 200ms to 300 ms and my server has his own IP.

Let me know if you have any questions or just leave a comment and don’t forget to share this article if you found this helpful.

By Anand Kumar

I am the person behind this site.

13 comments

  1. Hi Anand,

    I noticed you recognized the concern about maintaining your own unmanaged VPS. Next time you spin up a server at DigitalOcean, you might want to give my company’s hosting control panel a try. It’s called ServerPilot.

    https://serverpilot.io/

    Basically, ServerPilot automates all of the server management for you. It’s free for the basic configuration and security features. We charge for advanced monitoring and such.

    Best of luck on your own VPS. There’s a huge migration happening from shared hosting to developers using their own servers.

    Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions.

    Thanks,
    Justin

  2. You know, Escalate Hosting is definitely a host I don’t hear a lot of people talking about. They always have special offers going on and have tons of great deals on all their hosting deals. If anyone is serious about looking for web hosting needs, I’d honestly reccommend them.

    http://www.escalatehosting.com/special/645199

    They have proven better to me than hostgator or even godaddy, imo

    1. Hello Martin,

      You would like to take a look on DigitalOcean Tuts and Linode Library. These will help you a lot. If you don’t use PHP and have static site site then you will probably find digital ocean the best in terms of server performance and cost. DO library is itself more than enough for beginners.

  3. Landed here searching for digital ocean.

    You could have migrated to shared hosting business plan on hostgator. They provide free dedicated IP on that plan.

  4. They referred Hostgator because both these companies are now owned by the notorious EIG , which has bought several hosting companies . google it .

  5. Well Anand you’re right, now the VPS are much cheaper so there is no reason to stay with shared hosts. I have also used Hostgator , Site5 , & currently using 1and1 , now thinking to use some VPS. I think digitalocean would be great 😉

  6. Digital ocean provides quality service for cheap price.I really love their service and I was using the hostgator service earlier 🙂

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